The Indianapolis Recorder

Dateline: Sun 06 Apr 2014

For years, I've been saying I would subscribe to the Indianapolis Recorder, a historical weekly "since 1895" that covers the black community in every aspect: current events, politics, features, business, sports, discrimination, crime and religion.

After buying it sporadically at the news stand at CVS Drugs, I took the leap in March and signed up for what is surely the best deal around economically: only $15 for a year online, with the option of getting the paper version delivered weekly (add $39, which I did).

I am so happy with the decision.

Amos Brown, best known for his 1310 AM radio show, is a regular contributor. His column is just like his personality: direct, peppery, curious, questioning and hard-charging. I love reading his stuff -- and geting an education about aspects of our community that are not getting  attention elsewhere. This week's piece by Brown details a youth lock-in at Light of the World Christian Church, which drew as many as 600 to 900 kids on a recent Friday night. Brown's larger point is that there are not enough acitivites for kids aside from movies and hanging out at two malls (Circle Centre and Castleton). He lays it on former Mayor Steve Goldsmith, who initiated tight curfews in Indy. Brown says that ever since then, "Indianapolis has actively harassed, discouraged and stamped out entertainment events for teens and youth."

Brown's real expertise is statistics, and his analysis of the 2013 Census data for Indianapolis is a story that I have not read elsewhere -- the Indianapolis/Marion County metro area surpassed all 92 counties, including Hamilton County, for population growth. He nails the Ballard adminstration for not being "excited over Indy's strong population growth so far this decade," and notes the indifference is rooted in the mayor's chief of staff Ryan Vaughn "who many think actually runs this city day-to-day."

Years ago, Brown came to the Star and lectured staff and editors about not ignoring Census statistics. Using demographics, he pointed out that it was Indy's black population who supported Downtown when whites had abandoned it, and it was blacks who kept the bus system going. Also, he said, blacks preferred the Indianapolis News -- the late Indianapolis News -- to the Indy Star. This fit with some of our own focus groups, which revealed the Star was perceived in pesona as a white, middle-aged man who drank martinis. 

Brown is a player, and anyone who wants to know the scoop on Indy should be reading both Brown and the competent editor Shannon Williams. They are both keeping score on Indy, and the Recorder deserves support from those who want to read analysis about Indy, not public relations or cheerleading.

With thanks to journalist/colleague Rebecca Bibbs, who gave me the nudge to subscribe to The Recorder. 



hendy [Member] said:

Don't you hate the spimmers?

The Indpls Recorder is a real newspaper, with a real sense of community. No wonder you like it. I like how it survives nicely. When the rape and pillaging Gannett has done is overgrown with reforestation, the Recorder will be alive and doing its job.

2014-04-06 20:46:58

farmgirl [unverified] said:

Glad to have you back, but wow! You are really getting some weird comments! (Not you, Hendy.)

2014-04-08 20:44:21

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